Thousands of dollars offered to solve wildlife poaching cases across Oregon

bear cub poaching
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In just the past couple of months, there has been a string of wildlife poaching incidents across Oregon and police are trying to find whoever is involved. With the help of the Oregon Hunters Association, significant rewards are being offered to find the culprits. 

Here are some of the cases still to be solved.

  • Bighorn sheep ram in Baker County: Found shot and left to waste on Nov. 30. Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $2,000 reward and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is offering five hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation for this case. Oregon Wildlife Coalition also offers a $500 reward for the bighorn sheep.
  • Two black bear cubs, in Baker County: Found shot and left to waste on Nov. 27. Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $600 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case. Oregon Wildlife Coalition also offers a $500 reward for information regarding leading to an arrest or citation.

RELATED: OSP: Wolf illegally killed in Eastern Oregon. Police asking public’s help.

  • Two spike bull elk in Lincoln County: Found shot on Nov. 20. Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case.
  • Rocky Mountain bull elk in Umatilla County: Found left to waste on Oct. 4. Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case.
  • Two Rocky Mountain elk in Morrow County:  Found partially left to waste on Nov. 27. Oregon Hunters Association is offering $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case.

Bighorn sheep ram in Baker County: On Nov. 30, OSP F and W Troopers discovered a bighorn sheep ram that had been shot and left to waste on BLM land. The carcass was near Hibbard Creek Road in the Lookout Mountain Wildlife Management Unit, approximately 50 miles south of Baker City. The poacher or poachers took only the ram’s head and horns, leaving all the meat to waste.

Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $2,000 reward and ODFW is offering five hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation for this case. Oregon Wildlife Coalition also offers a $500 reward for the bighorn sheep.

California bighorn sheep are the most abundant subspecies in Oregon with an estimated 3,700 animals that make up 32 herds in central and southeast Oregon. Oregon’s estimated 800 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep live in the northeast corner of the state, in canyons of the Snake River and its tributaries and in alpine areas of the Wallowa Mountains.

Biologists and other conservationists carefully monitor and maintain bighorn sheep throughout Oregon and the west as a valuable natural resource. The nimble animals are a draw for recreationists around the state, and hikers and photographers go to great lengths to get a glimpse of them in the wild. Hunters compete to win a once-in-a-lifetime hunt for the animals. Oregon Hunter Magazine editor Duane Dungannon has chased the coveted tag for years. 

“I’ve personally viewed and photographed bighorns in the Lookout Mountain Unit, but that’s all, because in 35 years of applying, I’ve never drawn a once-in-a-lifetime bighorn tag, and probably never will,” Dungannon said, “For someone to steal one of these mountain monarchs is truly a heinous crime against all those who dream of a chance to pursue them legally someday, as well as those who just count themselves fortunate to see them.”

Poaching impacts the number of bighorns across the landscape and complicates biologist’s herd management strategies, according to Protect Oregon’s Wildlife- Turn In Poachers campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw.

“Poaching steals natural resources from all Oregonians,” She said, “We can all help protect Oregon’s wildlife by being a good witness and turning in poachers.”

To be a good witness, Shaw encourages people to pay attention to the species of animal involved, the location, any vehicle descriptions, and descriptions of the poachers themselves. “A license plate or photo are very helpful,” Shaw said.

Conservation groups like Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Wild and the Oregon Wild Sheep Foundation actively inform their members about the detriments of poaching.

“Poaching continues to be a tragic assault on Oregon values and our natural heritage,” said Danielle Moser, Wildlife Program manager with Oregon Wild, “Each death is a blow to the resilience and integrity of our wild landscapes.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov.

Photo Caption: Poachers took the horns and head from a bighorn ram in the Lookout Mountain Wildlife Management Unit. Oregon Hunters Assoc is offering a reward of $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest or citation. Photo by OSP https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/110623_bighorn.jpg

Two black bear cubs, in Baker County: On Nov. 27, a hunter reported finding a dead bear cub just off the USFS 77 Road in the Keating Wildlife Management Unit. OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers responded to the area and located two bear cubs that were shot and left to waste. This location is approximately 3.5 miles northwest of Halfway.

Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $600 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case. Oregon Wildlife Coalition also offers a $500 reward for information regarding leading to an arrest or citation.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov.

Photo Caption: One of two American black bear cubs illegally shot in late Nov. near Halfway. Photo by OSP https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/110623_bear.jpg

Two spike bull elk in Lincoln County: On Nov. 20, an OSP Fish and Wildlife Sergeant responded to a report of two spike bull elk that had been shot and killed near milepost 10 on Murphy Road. The Sergeant located the first carcass in a clear-cut area at the edge of the timberline. The second carcass was approximately 50 yards away, just inside the timberline.

Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov.

Photo Caption: One of two spike bull elk poached in Lincoln County last week. There is $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest or citation in the case. https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/120626_spike_elk.jpg

Rocky Mountain bull elk in Umatilla County: On Oct. 4, OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers responded to a call of a Rocky Mountain bull elk that had been shot and left to waste on Hwy. 74, approximately four miles west of Hwy. 395. The investigation determined the bull was killed approximately 100 yards from the highway with a single gunshot wound to the head, then left to waste. Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov. Reference case number SP23376327.

Photo Caption: A Rocky Mountain bull elk shot and left to waste near Hwy 395 in Umatilla Co. Photo by OSP. https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/110623_elk.jpg

Two Rocky Mountain elk in Morrow County:  On Nov. 27, OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers responded to a call of two elk that had been killed and left partially to waste in a dry creek bed near Lexington. Due to the recent cold weather, it is believed the elk may have been killed in the past week. Oregon Hunters Association is offering $1,000reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov. Reference case number SP23376327.

Photo Caption: Two elk carcasses discovered in Morrow County after someone called the Turn in Poachers TIP Line. Photo by OSP https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/110623_elk_cows.jpg

Roosevelt bull elk in Columbia County: Between 5:00 PM on Nov. 28 and 7:00 AM Nov. 29, a poacher killed a Roosevelt bull elk on Dutch Canyon Rd, near Scappoose. The poacher(s) took only the antlers. This bull was well known in the area and considered to be part of the Miller Herd. OHA is offering a $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Sr. Trooper Scott Bernardi through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (mobile) or contact Sr. Trooper Bernardi at (503) 410-4165 or scott.bernardi@osp.oregon.gov.

Photo Caption: Bull elk alive on the afternoon of Nov. 28, 2023 https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/110623_elk_trophy_before.jpg
Photo Caption: Deceased bull elk with its antlers removed on the morning of Nov. 29, 2023 https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/110623_elk_trophy.jpg

Cow elk in Lincoln County:  On Nov. 20, OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers, from the Newport patrol office responded to a report of a cow elk shot and killed in a clearing near Rudder Creek Road in Lincoln County. The cow elk was shot and killed with a high-caliber rifle and left to waste. OSP Fish and Wildlife Division is seeking public assistance in locating the person(s) responsible. OHA is offering a $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information leading to an arrest or citation in this case.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov.

Reference case number SP23-368216.

Black tailed buck deer in Lincoln County: On November 5, at approximately 11:30 am, OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers responded to a call of a forked-horn buck deer which was shot and left on timber company property in Harlan, Oregon. The investigation determined that the buck had been shot, field-dressed, and left for waste. OHA is offering a $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information leading to an arrest or citation in this case.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov. Reference case number SP23352231.

Photo Caption: Forked horn buck, poached and left to waste in Harlan, Oregon. There is a $1,000 reward or four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in the case. Photo by OSP https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/110623_buck.jpg

 

Black-tailed buck deer in Clackamas County: On November 5, at about 7:45 PM, a 3-point buck deer was unlawfully shot multiple times and killed on private property near the intersection of S. Hult Rd. and S. Olson Rd. The buck deer was loaded onto a camouflage sled and concealed under a tree. Witnesses reported a black Ford F-150 with a canopy in the area at the time. The canopy has a fin-like structure on the top. The buck deer was able to be salvaged and was donated to charity. OHA is offering $1,000 reward and ODFW is offering four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case.

Any person with information about this incident can contact Trooper Marcus Tiktin at 971-719-3232 or Senior Trooper Robin May at 503-983-0768.

Photo Caption: Poachers shot this 3-point buck, loaded onto a sled, and stashed it under a tree. Oregon Hunters Association is offering $1,000 reward and ODFW will award four hunter preference points for information that leads to an arrest or citation in this case. Photo by OSP  https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/images/2023/110623_buck_sled.jpg

The Protect Oregon’s Wildlife- Turn in Poachers campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching. This campaign is a collaboration among state agencies, sportsmen and other conservationists, landowners, and recreationists to engage the public in combatting Oregon’s poaching problem. Our goal is to: Incentivize reporting on wildlife crimes through the TIP Line; Strengthen enforcement by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers; and Support prosecution in becoming an effective deterrent. The campaign helps to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitat for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Visit our website: https://www.protectoregonswildlife.com/ Or contact campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw for more information.Yvonne.L.Shaw@odfw.oregon.gov.

If you know of or suspect other crimes against fish wildlife or habitat, please report to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line. 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone. Or email: TIP@osp.oregon.gov.

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